Another New Medication
by Storm Carnegie

Well, here I go again. Adding yet another new medication to the ol medication combo cocktail. Sigh, but I must admit. I do get a rather sordid giddy feeling whenever my brain doc decides to toss in a new miracle dust to the kettle of magic. Why? Because I enjoy seeing what will happen. I like being the guinea pig of neural possibilities. I long to find that one mixture of fairy dust that will finally put me on the correct highway to normalcy for once and all. The last combination almost had me at my final destination when it suddenly detoured at an unexpected depression exit ramp. And quite the longgggg exit ramp it turned out to be. Nevertheless, I finally got off that damn ramp and found my way back onto the interstate of happiness once again. Hopefully this time I can manage to stay there permanently.

I have a major life changing event coming up rather soon. Okay, two major life changing events are coming up and we all know how something like that can monkey around with your mental state of well-being and toss you off into a tizzy of total confusion. I am moving from New York to southwestern Florida and getting married as well. My intended to-be is fully aware of my disorder and is extremely supportive and helpful. I am more than lucky to have found this fountain of never ending support, kindness and love. Unlike my last love, I don’t have to keep quiet about my moods and issues and can freely discuss my “problems” at will. What a relief it is to be able to just be “me” and not have to worry about the consequences!

Kermit the frog always lamented it wasn’t easy being green, well let me tell you, it isn’t always easy being me, either. But it all honesty, with the exception of one bad week, it has been easier in the past year than it has been in the past ten years. My moods have stabilized and since I work from home as opposed to a stressful office atmosphere, I have improved ten times over.

Now that I will be living where the sun shines almost every single day, no longer will those gray days be sneaking into my psyche and try to drag me back down into a dark depression of hell. My life will finally be one of leisure and my work will be what I want it to be “when” I want it to be. My disorder will be just another element of my life that I will contend with on a daily basis as I pop those miracle pills and life will go on as usual.

If I could, I would wave a magical fairy wand over every bipolar person in the world and let him or her have such a happy world as I have finally found. This disorder can cause such a stressful, painful, destructive life for so many good people. It pains me to think of all the wonderful folks out there who are suffering this very moment, especially the children and the parents of those children. There are no easy answers and there are no quick fixes. The answers come in time and the fixes take time. Dedication and patience are the virtues that are needed to fight this disorder. You must stick with it and educate yourself as much as possible in order to “KNOW” this disorder.

If your psychiatrist is stuck in a rut or you don’t feel he/she is helping then for Pete’s sake find a new one. I’ve got news for you people; lithium is not the only answer for bipolar disorder. And neither is depakote. I’m not saying not to take them, what I am saying is that they are not the ONLY answers, but the first choice most shrinks are going to turn to because they are the first ones they are taught to turn to. I have always told each shrink I’ve went to immediately that I refuse either of those drugs because I need my mental clarity and I do not like the effects of those drugs nor their side effects. And because of my knowledge of those medications, my shrinks have given me alternative medications that have worked just as well if not better and have allowed me to maintain my faculties to where I have been able to finish my degree in college. Granted it has still been a struggle but I have been able to do so and my hair has NOT fallen out nor have I had to go for those weekly or biweekly blood tests.

Just remember this: your doctor cannot read your mind. If after 3 to 6 months you do not feel any difference, tell him or her that you don’t think the med are helping. It does take some time for them to do their job, but if you are not noticing anything after that length of time then something else needs to be done. Keep a journal and take it to your shrink. Write down every single thing you feel every day. If you get the jitters, the shakes, nausea, headaches, whatever, write it down, the date, how long it lasts, everything! Some medication side effects will eventually go away. But if you see in your journal that some side effects of certain meds are not going away then that’s the time to tell your shrink. Remember, they can’t read your mind and only you know what’s going on in your body and in your mind. If you are hearing voices that are not your own, write it down. If you are having horrid nightmares, write it down. If you are having suicidal thoughts, write it down. If you are having happy thoughts, write it down. Having good days or bad days-write it down! Then go through your journal at the end of each week and see if any patterns are beginning to develop. And take your journal with you each time you visit your therapist and/or psychiatrist. And make notations about those visits in your journal as well. Document everything!

 

 

 

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